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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

TSA Revisited

The TSA has been getting a decent amount of heat on this one, but the big issues are still going unaddressed. Why should a rape survivor need to choose between a health risk and psychological harm just to travel? Why should a pregnant woman be forced to use a device with unknown and untested health risks? Why should a bladder cancer survivor be so badly handled that he ends up boarding a plane covered in his own urine? Why should a parent have to explain to a kid that you should never let someone touch you there, unless it's a total stranger at the airport? For me, there's a select group (husband, gynecologist, etc.) of people who get to touch my labia, and that generally doesn't include strangers at the airport. How did this suddenly become acceptable to so many people?

But I'd stuff my concerns into a dark corner if this was actually doing anything to save us from the evil terrorists. But as Al Quaeda of the Arab Peninsula has made clear, it's not. As Adam Savage makes clear, it's not even stopping us from 12 inch razor blades on a plane. The TSA is wasting time taking nail clippers from soldiers carrying rifles, but utterly missing real threats again and again. It's time to step back and reevaluate the whole process with attention to what actually works. What we've got creates new risks and doesn't manage to mitigate the risks it's intended to. Start over. Learn from countries who've been doing this longer. And in the meantime, how about we spend a little less time groping each others' labias and penises and a little more time watching out for large metal blades, m'kay?

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